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Lolo is a service of UW-IT, developed in collaboration with the UW eScience Institute, providing scalable storage for the UW research community and others needing bulk storage.

Lolo offers two types of service: a shared storage offering known within lolo as "Collaboration" for on-disk storage and exchange of large datasets; and an offering known as "Archive" for long-term storage of large datasets.

Lolo Announcements

The lolo-announce mailman list is a low-volume list used to communicate service changes, maintenance or outages. Subscribe to stay up to date on lolo.

Note that lolo collaboration has been moved to the new server The documentation below will be updated to reflect that information.

Getting Help

If you have any questions not addressed in this documentation or are having problems with the service, please contact us by sending an e-mail to with 'lolo' as the first word in the subject and a brief description of your issue.

Accessing and Using Lolo

Appropriate Use and Warnings

The Archive filesystem is intended for long term storage of data that changes infrequently, if ever. It is a tape-based system with a small disk buffer to improve write performance. It should NEVER be used for ANY sort of interactive access.

The Collaboration filesystem is for general purpose file storage and access. It is not backed up. Potential uses for this filesystem include sharing data with colleagues on and off campus, and staging data for later transfer to Hyak or other sites. 

Both filesystems will perform best when used with large files. For this reason, we strongly encourage you to combine collections of small files into tar or zip files before transferring them to the Archive filesystem. To enforce this, inode quotas are in place which limit the number of files that you can store. (See Quotas.) Please be aware of these limits.

SSH Access

The lolo Collaboration and Archive filesystems are available from on-campus or off-campus with SSH or HPNSSH. This includes the ssh, scp and sftp protocols. BBCP and GridFTP are also available via SSH for high speed transfers. If you plan to set up SSH publickey authentication you will have to put a publickey in your per-user authorized_keys file. 

Finding your Data

The lolo data is stored in two different directory structures:

  • /archive/group-name for Archive storage
  • /collaboration/group-name for Collaboration storage

where group-name is the "short" name chosen for your group at account creation time.  Do not use your home directory to store files beyond those necessary for your account to function (ssh keys, etc.).

An example command to connect to lolo archive with ssh:

ssh <your netid>

Using rsync

Transferring files using rsync over ssh is a supported option. There is one important caveat: when using rsync you must always use the -W or --whole-file option. This option disables the rsync transfer checksum algorithm which normally would speed the transfer of changed files by only sending changed bytes. On lolo, this algorithm will cause a tape recall of every file that already exists in order to have the file contents available to calculate the transfer checksum. This recall would be detrimental to lolo archive function and will result in poor performance of transfers. The -W or --whole-file option must always be used.

Using rsync has the benefit of ensuring integrity of transferred files. When rsync transfers a file it always calculates a checksum for the whole file and compares at the completion of the transfer. This works even in whole file (-W, --whole-file) mode.

Using GridFTP

GridFTP uses SSH for authentication, so you should use the proper syntax for such transfers. For example: globus-url-copy -vb file:/data/mylocalfile ssh

Hyak Access

Hyak (ikt and mox) and lolo are separate services. Hyak groups are provided storage on lolo at /archive/hyak/xyz, where xyz is the group name. 

Hyak users can transfer data between hyak and lolo by using sftp or scp from the login nodes. See below link for more details on how to transfer files from hyak to lolo.

Hyak lolo file transfer


Lolo Archive is implemented with a single filesystem. Each Lolo customer purchases storage in chunks of 1TB and this allocation is implemented and enforced as a filesystem byte quota. Byte quotas are set in multiples of 1.0 TB.

Both filesystems will perform best when used with large files. To enforce this, inode quotas are in place which limit the number of files that you can store. In Archive each 1TB chunk allows 1,000 files. To comply with these file/directory inode quotas we recommend that users combine collections of small files into tar (or other archive format) files before transferring them to the Archive filesystem.

Viewing Quota

The quota and usage for your lolo storage can be viewed by logging in to lolo and viewing the 'usage_report.txt' file in the root of your Lolo allocation. These files are updated hourly.

Viewing Hyak Quota

Hyak users have access to an allocation of lolo storage dedicated to Hyak customers. This allocation is based on number of Hyak nodes. See the Hyak User Wiki for more details.

Problems and Solutions

Permission Denied

If you receive a Permission Denied error when reading a file to which you have permission, this means the HSM software is having trouble reading your file from the primary tape copy and your file has to be restored from the secondary tape copy. An administrator has to perform this procedure, so see the Getting Help section above for information on how to contact support.

Home Directory Quota

Your personal home directory on lolo is meant to store ssh keys, login scripts and other basic account files. It is a common error to accidentally copy data to your home directory instead of to /archive. To prevent system problems and outages due to this mistake we have implemented quotas on home directories. You cannot store more than 50MB of data in your home directory.

Account Maintenance

Account and Group Maintenance - Information for designated customer contacts to manage access to Lolo.